Exaggeration is the official language of the internet, isn’t it? And if you’re not prone to regular bouts of thumping, thunderous hyperbole then you are the WORST THING EVER!! Sorry, I exaggerated there. But you get the idea.

Log on to Facebook or Twitter or any other hark-at-me platform of pointless parading and you’ll read about folk having the best meal EVER or the best holiday EVER or the best night out EVER while other folk who are clearly not having the best meal/holiday/night out EVER wistfully respond by wishing they were having the best meal/holiday/night out EVER instead of wearily pawing through photos of other folk having the best meal/holiday/night out EVER while lolling on the couch like a walrus with serious abdominal bloat.

Amid all this mind-mangling magnification of the ordinary, of course, we all know that everyday life is, in fact, just a fairly hum-drum cycle of modest, routine fixtures and fittings, from stiff breezes, unexpected items in the bagging area and an update on Doreen’s gout to out of date milk, being put on hold or muttering “where the hell are my specs?” as you quietly curse your doddering incompetence.

There are, however, moments that deserve genuine championing. All of which leads us into this week’s golfing meander . ..


In these rat-a-tat times, when speed, convenience and efficiency are demanded and instant gratification and a fast-tracking to success is almost seen as a basic human right, the auld game of golf sits in a peculiar position.

Those of us who enjoy and endure this admirable pursuit know fine wellthat the fevered, swiping procedures involved in cajoling a little ball into a small hole can often resemble a startled farmhand wildly thrashing at a scurrying rat with a push hoe.

It demands patience, dedication and self-discipline, good honest values that are not necessarily defining words of this hectic, modern world.

Interviewing Dunblane golfer Heather MacRae last week, this scribbler was reminded of the well-spouted observation by the great Bobby Jones. “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots; you get good breaks from bad shots, but you have to play the ball where it lies.”


READ MORE: MacGarvie to the fore with St Rule Trophy victory

MacRae has been landed with an appalling lie – she is in the midst of a fight with cervical cancer – but, my goodness, she is approaching it with great courage and resolve.

The 35-year-old, a former British Women’s Amateur Strokeplay champion, continues to immerse herself in competitive golf, despite a major operation looming on the horizon.

Last Friday she won the Women’s PGA Professional Championship in an emotionally charged conquest which underlined her strength of character and mental fortitude.

Those are attributes you require if you are a professional golfer. In her biggest battle yet, MacRae continues to show that she has those qualities in bucket loads.

In an age when we lavish praise on the mundane and the ordinary, her story deserves genuine acclaim.


I don’t know about you, but this new golfing schedule on the men’s scene is leaving me panting like a dog looking in a butcher’s window.

No sooner had Tiger Woods won a flabbergasting Masters then we were all getting in an excited fluster about the US PGA Championship and now we’re working ourselves into a lather about next week’s US Open. By the time July’s Open gets going, most of us all will be on all fours and gasping for relief.


READ MORE: MacRae eyes silver lining through clouds of cancer battle

Rather like sitting on an over-packed suitcase in an attempt get the zips to close, the new diary has squeezed every men’s major into a 15 week spell. They’ll all be done and dusted by July 21, which is the final day of the Open, and it will be nine months before the Masters birls round again.

Of course, the way such grand occasions are showcased now, with remorseless build up, endless preview and exhausting punditry, not forgetting inevitable anti-climax if said events don’t live up to the ridiculous expectations lumped upon them, means one almost blurs into the other and major fatigue can quickly build. Oh well, bring on Pebble Beach.


The domestic scene, both amateur and professional, is full of cherished old events which are rich in history but struggling to eke out an existence in an ever-changing golfing environment.

Take the Northern Open, for instance, which gets underway today at Newmachar.

As one of Scotland’s oldest professional championships, the Northern Open boasts a roll of honour featuring decorated names like John Panton, Eric Brown, George Will, Harry Bannerman and Brian Barnes.

Its past is rightly celebrated. Its present remains concerning. The fact it doesn’t have a sponsor, a problem which has been on-going, doesn’t help.

And being reduced to 36-holes scrapes more of the lustre away from a championship that is almost 90 year old. Just over a decade ago, the first prize was £8000. Last season, the winner took home £1100 for 72-holes of work.

Rather like the flagship Scottish PGA Championship, the Northern Open has, in many ways, drifted out of the golfing public’s consciousness while the challenges the Tartan

Tour faces – a lack of sponsorship and the dwindling of Pro-Am events that were its lifeblood – all add up to a worrying future.